Torqeedo electric boats powered by BMW i3 batteries

BMW's battery packs take to the high seas.

  • Image Credit: BMW
While the BMW i3 is currently confined to use on land, its battery is finding a home on the water. A German company called Torqeedo is using the high-voltage packs from BMW to power its Deep Blue line of electric propulsion systems for boats.

Torqueedo provides inboard and outboard propulsion for a variety of vessels, ranging from private sailing yachts to commercial ferries, and the i3 batteries will power systems with outputs ranging from one to 160 horsepower. The marine application just goes to show the versatility of BMW's battery technology, according to BMW i Head of Product Management Dr. Alexander Kotouc. "This successful transfer of the latest automotive technology to the water is testament to the value of the integrated approach that underpins BMW i," he says.

BMW produces the lithium-ion battery packs at its plant in Dingolfing, Germany. The updated version of the i3 pack provides 33 kWh of storage, which gives the car a driving range of up to 124 miles. The automaker says it increased the capacity by over 50 percent over the previous version without adding size or weight to the battery.

BMW points out that in addition to helping cars and boats get around, the batteries are also useful for stationary energy storage. This is a good way to recycle the batteries once they're retired from vehicles, as they still maintain the majority of their storage capacity. BMW has put i3 batteries to use in homes and in grid-based and off-grid storage systems.

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